Parking at public hospitals is a nightmare but nothing much has been done to ease the worsening situation. StarMetro speaks to the public on the parking woes.
The parking problem at hospitals is not something new and has been highlighted many times, yet the situation has not improved much.
Vehicles are parked at available vacant spaces within a hospital compound, and there are internal traffic jams at some hospitals, while double parking and illegal parking are common.
The situation is the same at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital, Serdang Hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Sg Buloh Hospital, Selayang Hospital and the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.
Parking priority is usually given to hospital staff and there are not enough bays for patients and visitors.
David Nathan, 54, who visits Selayang Hospital for check-ups, would park by the roadside most of the time.
Although there are covered and open car parks at the hospital, this is still insufficient for visitors during peak hours.
Peak hours or not, the scenario at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital is often described as a nightmare by visitors.
A hospital employee, who wants to remain anonymous, said traffic at the hospital was bad as there was not enough parking for staff and the situation now was worsened by its current parking managament company.
“It was better with the previous parking management company but with the new one, traffic management is so bad that last week we were held up for an hour just to leave the compound,” she said, adding that the hospital had more than 8,000 employees and most worked during office hours.
Parking woes at UMMC is also never-ending, especially in the morning and the situation is bad despite having a multi-level car park.
Vehicles are often parked along Jalan Universiti because there are no parking bays available at the multi-level car park.
“Ultimately, this causes a jam on the road as cars take up one lane. Most people have no choice but to park along the road as they have medical appointments. So they park along the road or get their drivers to wait there,” said Zulkifli Mohd Ali, 47, who often brings his wheelchair-bound father Mohd Zain Mohd Yassin, 76, for check-ups.
He said he had no choice but to make a few rounds around the car park untill he found a parking space due to his father’s condition.
“The parking is also not disabled-friendly. Once parked, there is no space to place a wheelchair for the handicapped person,” he said.
According to a hospital employee, although the hospital has a drive-through counter for collecting medicine, it is only open from 9.30am to 11.30am on weekdays due to lack of staff.
There is also not enough parking space at the Putrajaya Hospital. With more than 1,000 employees and an average of 1,000 patients a day, the hospital has only about 500 parking lots.
There is a shuttle service from Putrajaya Sentral to the hospital.
Audra Lee, 36, who visits the hospital every two months for check-ups, said she had to get to the hospital before 8am to find a parking lot.
“Even then, it is difficult and most people just have to park far away and walk to the hospital. I am able but not every patient is well enough to walk a long distance,” she said.
Winnie Makulin, 35, whose job takes her to most hospitals in the Klang Valley, said parking at the older hospitals were bad probably due to failure to plan for the future, but sadly, even new ones faced the same problem.
She said the government should have learnt from the parking problems faced at the older hospitals.
“However, the situation is the same or worse in some of the newer hospitals in Putrajaya, Sg Buloh and Serdang.
“Patients and visitors have to park far away and walk to the hospital like in the case of the Serdang Hospital and Putrajaya Hospital,” said Makulin.
She added that every hospital should have a multi-storey car park to cater to employees and visitors.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the government was well aware of parking problems at hospitals nationwide.
She said one of the ways to ease parking problems at hospitals was by providing valet parking services and that some hospitals were already practising it.
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